In September 2023, Tennessee republicans announced the appointment of a committee to review “strings” attached to $1.89 billion (yes, that is billion with a “B”!) in federal school funds.   Cameron Sexton stated “Any time the federal government sends money, there are always strings attached to those dollars, and there is always a possibility that it opens the state up to other regulations or restrictions.”  Randy McNally stated, “Federal dollars and the various mandates and restrictions that come with those dollars affect the way Tennessee’s children are educated. Due to our state’s excellent financial position, this is a worthy subject of examination and study.”  The “strings” that are so disconcerting to the Republican supermajority are these – the funds are to be used to support programs for low-income students, students with disabilities, and school lunch programs. 

According to the website, Tennessee is ranked 11th in the United States for its economic outlook.  Compare this to our public schools which come in at an abysmal 41.  Can we afford to turn away Federal funds?  Remember also that those same federal funds the legislature is threatening to turn away are our tax dollars.

I will work to make our public schools better for all students in the state.  This means I will work to make sure Tennessee receives all funding available from all sources available to us to improve our schools so that in turn, our schools are able to prepare the children of the State of Tennessee to be the best they can be.  This in turn will make Tennessee the best it can be.